August 5, 2020
By Phil Anderson
St. Mary’s KS – Representatives of a large Catholic church in St. Marys are taking issue with a published report they say falsely portrays them as seeking to impede a Kansas Bureau of Investigation inquiry into sex abuse allegations involving priests who formerly served the congregation.
The Kansas City Star in its Tuesday edition ran a story with the headline “SSPX staff told not to speak with KBI without an attorney.”
The article included information from an email sent to staff members and signed by the Rev. Scott Gardner, district bursar of the Society of St. Pius X United States of America District, which is based in Platte City, Mo.
In the email, Society of St. Pius X priests and staff members are cautioned against speaking to KBI officials without a lawyer being present.
The Star article also included comments from critics and former adherents of the church who said Gardner’s email seemed to be an attempt to “silence witnesses” of possible sexual abuse by Society of St. Pius X priests.
However, in an email obtained Wednesday by WIBW-TV, Gardner dismissed a report suggesting that the Society of St. Pius X was attempting to discourage its members from cooperating with the KBI’s investigation into priestly sex abuse.
That allegation, he said, was included in an article posted Monday on the Church Militant website, which he said “has once again tried to wring fake news out of an internal email by falsifying the context.”
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